I was having an affair with another email platform. And they were satisfying my needs in a way Substack just couldn’t compete with. But it’s bittersweet. Without Substack, I may have never started a newsletter. We go way back. But I’m growing out of love. Here are a few reasons why I’m breaking up with Substack.
It’s clear Substack is building a platform focused on getting professional writers to create paid content. It’s their business model. But I’m not a professional writer. Putting my newsletter behind a paywall doesn’t vibe with me, either. And those are the real advantages to Substack.
I needed more sophistication with features, reporting, and segmentation. Substack doesn’t have much of a reporting system. They give you an open rate and click rate—and that’s about it. Plus, you have to break out the calculator to determine how many actual clicks a certain link received. It’s tedious and annoying.
I also want to create landing pages, add automation, and integrate other systems as I grow and create more products. This leads me to my next point.
Substack’s API is inaccessible. You can’t automate anything that I know of. For example, when I set up a landing page for a digital product this summer, I wanted the subscribers automatically imported into Substack from the landing page. Nope. What if you want to create a drip or nurture campaign? Can’t do that either. There’s no email automation, aside from an auto-Welcome email. But ConvertKit does all this wonderfully. So I switched.
One last note: I suspect Substack’s sender reputation is still weak. I had several subscribers who either never once received a Substack email or stopped receiving altogether. Weird.
Substack is a great platform to start a newsletter at no cost to you. It’s all you need at the start. I just simply grew out of it. It’s not you, Substack - it’s me.